All in the Mind

Photo by Alan L
Photo by Alan L

“So what have you learned today?” said the master.

“I have learned that all of reality is in my mind.” said the student.

“Really?” said the master.

“Yes,” said the student. “It is my mind that determines what is real and what is not. If I believe in something with all my heart and mind, it becomes real for me. And if I believe that it is not, then it is not.”

“Interesting,” said the master.

“This is why a lot of people are unhappy in the world,” said the student. “Because people believe that they have not attained happiness. They believe that they are imperfect; that they have not reached their goals and dreams. If only people would believe that they have everything they want and need, and have faith as solid as a rock, that goes as deep as the roots of that old tree in the meadow, then there would be peace and happiness in the world.”

“So it’s all in the mind eh?” said the master.

The student nodded.

“Speaking of that old tree over there,” said the master. “Are you saying then that if you believe with your entire heart and mind that it doesn’t exist, then it won’t be there? At least, for you?”

“Yes,” said the student.

“Do something for me then,” said the master. The master led him to a point a short distance away from the tree. “I want you to sit here, face this tree, and focus on believing that there is no tree in front of you. Take as much time as you want until you fully believe in your heart and mind that it doesn’t exist. When you feel that you have that rock solid belief already, I want you to run in a straight path as fast as you can. If you don’t hit the tree, then you can be the master, and I, your student.”

A Lesson in Chewing

The disciple said to the master, “All you do is tell us stories, but you never explain them. How are we supposed to learn anything?”

The master said, “Come now, no need to be so hotheaded. We can discuss over a light snack. Would you like some bread and cheese?”

“Okay,” said the disciple.

The master broke off a piece of bread and put it in his mouth. He then bit off a piece of cheese. After chewing the food for a while, he spat it out in a bowl and handed it to the disciple.

“Here’s your bread and cheese,” said the master.

“But I can’t eat that! You already chewed it and spat it out,” cried the shocked disciple.

“True,” said the master, “I cannot chew your food for you. And neither can I feed you the lessons in my stories. Those are for you to chew and taste and swallow.”

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